Press release: Charity Commission announces suite of steps on safeguarding

first_img The Commission’s actions and messages over the past few years demonstrate the top priority we expect charities to give to safeguarding, and the priority we place on ensuring trustees meet their legal duties, and public expectations, around this. But recent revelations have shocked us all and brought a new focus on how charities deal with these issues. We want to do everything we can, using our authority as regulator, to ensure that safeguarding is prioritised in all charities – not just those working with groups traditionally considered at risk. That’s what these two summits are about. At the heart of all this lies culture, governance and leadership in charities. Policies, procedures and formal systems – vital as they are – do not alone prevent safeguarding incidents, or ensure charities respond appropriately when incidents occur. The public rightly expect charities to be safe places, and for charity leaders to ensure their organisation lives its values, in everything they do. New Charity Commission taskforce to handle the recent increase in safeguarding incident reportsThe Commission is establishing a taskforce, including staff from across the Commission, to deal with the increased volume of safeguarding serious incident reports which it is already experiencing since the Oxfam story first appeared. The team will also undertake proactive work to ensure prompt and full reporting of serious safeguarding incidents, and give advice to charities reporting safeguarding incidents on appropriate actions. In addition the team will undertake a ‘deep dive’ of existing serious incident reporting records to ensure any gaps in full and frank disclosure are identified and necessary follow up actions, for charities or the regulator, have been completed. We will intervene in serious cases where we are concerned that trustees are not fulfilling their legal duties.Is is also reissuing its previous alert to all charities emphasising the importance of full and frank disclosure.Helen Stephenson said: Both summits will involve charity regulators in Scotland and Northern Ireland to ensure a coordinated approach across borders.Helen Stephenson CBE, Chief Executive of the Charity Commission said: Key recent work on safeguarding by regulator The Charity Commission is the regulator of charities in England and Wales. On 15 February 2018, the Commission set out the scope of its inquiry into Oxfam. Reports detailing the conclusions and outcomes of the Commission’s case work can be found on GOV.UK. On February 12, the Secretary of State for International Development issued a statement setting out a series of measures to tackle sexual exploitation and abuse, and wrote to UK charities working overseas funded by the Department, calling on them to step up and do more on these issues. Yesterday (16 February) she issued a further statement which is available on GOV.UK. Contact details: 020 7023 0600. Safeguarding alert issued in December 2017 warning charities to a) report incidents now if they have failed to in the past and b) review their safeguarding policy and procedures if they have not done so in the last 12 months. The Commission will reissue that alert to all charities emphasising the importance of full and frank disclosure. Press office Safeguarding strategy updated in December 2017: the new strategy makes clear that safeguarding is a key governance priority for all charities, not just those working with groups traditionally considered vulnerable. It also says charities must “provide a safe and trusted environment which safeguards anyone who comes into contact with it including beneficiaries, staff and volunteers”. Following alerts we issued in December 2017, and the recent public concerns following the events with Oxfam, we are already seeing increased reporting by charities, including historic incidents. While I am confident of the Commission’s record on tackling issues which have been fully and frankly reported, I want to be 100% certain that we have done everything in our power to ensure reports we received, including those which we have cause to believe may be incomplete or inadequate, were properly handled, ensure follow up and to give regulatory advice to charities on the right actions to take. The team’s work will reassure us, and the public, that charities have and are being transparent and open with the regulator, and that we are holding charities properly to account. It goes without saying that we will deal swiftly and robustly with concerns that this work discovers. Guidance on reporting serious incidents – updated in September 2017. This followed a consultation with charities. In publishing the new guidance, the Commission highlighted its concerns that charities continue to underreport incidents. EndsNotes to editors Additional safeguarding expertiseIn addition to its existing engagement with various safeguarding experts in charities and across partner agencies, the regulator will also use independent experts on safeguarding, both in the international context and in the UK, to advise and support the work of the taskforce, the investigations team leading the Oxfam inquiry, and the two charity summits.The Commission continues to work closely with other government departments, including DfID, law enforcement, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), and other agencies with specific safeguarding responsibilities such as the Care Quality Commission and social services, to ensure each accesses the right expertise and shares information appropriately, in order to strengthen the work across government to identify and respond to concerns about safeguarding in charities.Communication with informantsHelen Stephenson has also said she wants the organisation to review the way in which it communicates with informants who raise serious regulatory concerns that result in regulatory action.She said: It has become clear to me over the past week or so that whistle-blowers who come to us with serious concerns about charities are not always made aware of the difference their reports have made. That can’t be right. People who make what is often a brave decision to come to the regulator with important information, should, where appropriate, be reassured that we have acted on their concerns. So I want us to look carefully at the way in which we communicate with those who bring vital information to us that leads to serious regulatory action. establish a shared understanding of the safeguarding challenges facing charities working in the UK and emphasise the importance of maintaining public trust in the sector hear the sector’s ideas for solutions and what actions they are taking and will take agree and commit to actions jointly and individually to strengthen the safeguarding capability and capacity of charities working across the UK Safeguarding alert issued in October 2017 to newly registered veterans charities, following a proactive case-working project which highlighted concerns around safeguarding in some newly registered military charities. Annual report on compliance case work published in February 2018 – report highlights growing case work involving safeguarding issues, and reminds charities to prioritise safeguarding in their charities. Email [email protected] The Charity Commission has announced a suite of measures to help ensure charities learn the wider lessons from recent safeguarding revelations involving Oxfam and other charities, and to strengthen public trust and confidence in charities.Summit on safeguarding in UK charitiesThe Secretary of State for International Development has already announced a joint DfID/Charity Commission safeguarding summit with charities and umbrella bodies working internationally.As the Commission has consistently made clear, the need to strengthen and assure safeguarding is not limited to charities working internationally. The Charity Commission is therefore announcing today a second summit for charities and umbrella bodies working in the UK, to be co-chaired by the Minister for Civil Society, Tracey Crouch MP.The summit will be an opportunity to reaffirm how vital it is that safeguarding is a key governance priority for charities, and to:last_img read more

Schelling: Milwaukee Brewers pitching staff beyond terrible

first_imgIt was yet another perfect example of the Milwaukee Brewers pitching staff’s inability to keep its team in games.Opening Day starter Jeff Suppan started the night by allowing four runs on nine hits in just 4 1/3 innings, but the Brewers’ offense mounted a five-run ninth inning comeback to send the game against the Cincinnati Reds into extra innings, tied at six runs apiece.Unfortunately, relief pitcher Todd Coffey — who is second on the team behind Trevor Hoffman in ERA — surrendered a pair of 13th inning home runs, eventually leading to an 8-6 Reds victory on Aug. 24, 2009.The worst thing is no one honestly could have been surprised by the outcome.While the Brewers boast two of the league’s best offensive talents in Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder and an elite closer in Trevor Hoffman, the pitching staff as a whole has been absolutely terrible.Actually, terrible would be a compliment based on their numbers.Starters David Bush, Manny Parra and Jeff Suppan have struggled tremendously, with each possessing an ERA of 5.00 or higher. Carlos Villanueva and Mike Burns, who each have started at least five games, are both above a 6.00 ERA.Braden Looper, who has been the only consistent starter for Milwaukee behind Yovani Gallardo, is not much better with an ERA of nearly five runs. Fortunately Gallardo, the team’s de facto ace, has impressed with an ERA around 3.50 in just his second full season.Simply put, the Brewers have been lucky to win as many games as they have with the way they have pitched this season. If not for Braun and Fielder, they may find themselves much farther out of the picture in the National League Central (think Washington Nationals bad).Out of 16 NL teams, the Brewers rank 15th or lower in six pitching categories. Milwaukee pitchers have allowed just over 20 more home runs than any other team in the league, which is also good for the most home runs allowed per nine innings pitched.And while the team’s ERA is not quite Washington’s more than five per nine innings, it is significantly larger (0.25) than the league’s next worst team, the San Diego Padres.The Brewers were the second team this season to allow 600 earned runs, and they allow nearly 1 1/2 hits or walks per inning pitched. This is reflected in the fact only three teams (Washington, Houston and Arizona) have allowed more hits and only three (New York, Washington and San Diego) have surrendered more walks.So how does all of this compare to the Brewers’ 2008 numbers?Last season, Milwaukee ranked among the top four in nearly every pitching category, including ERA, shut outs, runs per game, hits, walks and WHIP.At 3.87, the Brewers boasted the league’s second best ERA and led the league with 12 complete games and six shut outs — all of which were thrown by Ben Sheets or CC Sabathia.Remember them?Sheets and Sabathia, who combined for a 24-11 record and 2.55 ERA, carried the Brewers to last season’s NL Wild Card berth. Sure, Braun and Fielder may have hit the clutch late season home runs, but there is no doubt Sheets and Sabathia made the true difference.Without them, the Brewers have allowed one more earned run per game despite already throwing more shut outs this season (7) than all of last season (6).With Sheets and Sabathia averaging nearly seven innings per start last season, the Milwaukee starting rotation combined to pitch more than 6 1/3 innings per start in 2008. This year, however, Gallardo is the only Brewers starter to average more than six innings per start while the staff as a whole averages 1/2 inning less per start in 2009 than in 2008.As a result, the Brewers’ bullpen has been overworked to the extent that manager Ken Macha has been forced to use pitchers like R.J. Swindle (16.20 ERA in 6.2 innings) and Jorge Julio (7.79 ERA in 17.1 innings). In 2008, only Derrick Turnbow (15.63 ERA in 6.1 innings) finished with an ERA of greater than nine runs.With such a terrible pitching staff, you would think the Brewers’ front office would go out and acquire significant improvements to both the starting rotation and the bullpen.Instead, they added Claudio Vargas (who the Brewers had released previously) and Dave Weathers (who is 39 years old). The two have been serviceable, but have had little to no impact.So goes the story of the 2009 Milwaukee Brewers. In a season where Braun and Fielder (and Weeks) showed they were ready to join the league’s elite, the Brew Crew just have not found consistency on the mound.Let’s hope they pitch better in September, even if their playoff hopes are gone.Jordan is a senior majoring in journalism and political science. Want to share your frustration with the Brewers’ pitching staff? E-mail him at [email protected]last_img read more